Punch de Creme (recipe)

Punch de Creme (recipe)

This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

Punch de Creme, is another of Trinidad’s traditional Christmas drinks. One thing that I really like about punch de creme (as opposed to traditional eggnog) is the use of citrus flavors like lime and Angostura bitters (which has orange extract). This gives the ‘nog’ a…

Trinidad Paime (recipe)

Trinidad Paime (recipe)

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

As promised, here is a recipe for Paime (pron. PAY-me)! Paime is basically a sweet version of the savoury pastelle. I only recently discovered that Paime is also a traditional Xmas dish. Well that explains why it seemed I never could find it lol! No…

Trinidad Pastelles (recipe) now with Delicious Vegan Option!

Trinidad Pastelles (recipe) now with Delicious Vegan Option!

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

One of Trinidad’s seasonal delights, pastelles are a steamed cornmeal pie wrapped in banana leaves and filled with stewed meat, olives, and raisins. I’ve been told that they are very similar to Latin American tamales, and indeed Venezualan foodblogger Tomasnomas has a link to the…

Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)

Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

  Christmas in Trinidad is a diverse multicultural affair. Not just for the Christian population, but also through the secular participation of the nation at large through the enjoyment of our local christmas songs (called parang) and especially the creation and consumption of our traditional…

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

    Like sorrel, Black Cake in Trinidad is a Christmas institution. Made predominantly of alcohol drenched prunes, currants and raisins, variations abound (and I love taste testing when we make the visiting rounds). Still, the best black cake is always the recipe that one…

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Trini Christmas

  What is Parang? Well Parang is the soundtrack to Christmas here in Trinidad. More than that however Parang is also a culture, a way of life that sweeps through my island after the lights of Eid and Divali have been put away. The What…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 – Carnival Bands

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 – Carnival Bands

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

  I was talking to a Brazilian friend a few years ago and she was surprised at some of the differences between our Carnival and theirs. You see it was a few weeks prior when she decided to look and see what costume/band she should…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 6 – J’Ouvert & Ole Time Mas

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

  J’ouvert (joo-VAY) is the start to the Carnival celebrations. It begins in the pre-dawn hours of Carnival Monday and lasts until daybreak. J’ouvert (which is a Creole corruption of the French Jour Ouvert – day opening) is also known as ‘dirty mas’. It seems…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 5 – Dimanche Gras

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

Dimanche Gras takes place on the Sunday night before Ash Wednesday. Here the Calypso Monarch is chosen (after competition) and prize money and a vehicle bestowed. Also the King and Queen of the bands are crowned, where each band to parade costumes for the next…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 4 – Fetes!

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

If you are getting the sense that Carnival is one big long party you are right! So it only makes sense that one big long party would be made of many many big long parties as well. These parties in Trinidad are called fetes and…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 3 – Steelbands and Panorama

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

It seems that every time a North American program wants to denote the ‘tropics’ you will hear the sound of a steelpan. It doesn’t even to seem to matter if the ‘tropics’ are in the Caribbean on a cruise ship or in Hawaii! If you…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 2 – Soca Music

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

It is hard to imagine Carnival without music. And the definitive music of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is soca. So what is Soca Music? Well, why not let Soca Superstar Machel Montano say it in his own words? From Caribbean Music 101 (the original link…

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – A Brief Overview

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – A Brief Overview

This entry is part of 10 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

  With only a few days before ‘High Mas’ it is time again to shine a spotlight on Trinidad & Tobago’s largest cultural festival, Carnival. Where did the word “carnival” come from? Hundred and hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in…

Ghosts of Our Culinary Past – Legacy of Our People

Ghosts of Our Culinary Past – Legacy of Our People

Who is Sylvia Hunt? If you came of age in the late 80’s onwards you probably haven’t heard her name. Similarly, several years ago, the then-UK based Trini food blogger Can Cook Must Cook posted on “Those Disappearing Pleasures”, the snacks of her childhood which…

Sarina’s Pigeon Peas and Rice (recipe)

Sarina’s Pigeon Peas and Rice (recipe)

This dish of pigeon peas and rice was the perfect accompaniment to the Crispy Lemon Chicken that I made earlier this year. The rice and peas are cooked together in a rich combination of fresh thyme and coconut milk with wedges of tomatoes and (if…

Pastelle Making (photo)

Pastelle Making (photo)

Caption: President of the Santa Rosa Carib Community, Ricardo Bharath-Hernandez singes a banana leaf over a fireside, as he prepares to make pastelles at the Carib Community Centre in Arima yesterday. The community prepares dozens of pastelles annually for sale. PHOTO BY AZLAN MOHAMMED This…